Results for the first half of the year were also released by Ruzyně Airport, which reported a 13.5% year-on-year decline in passengers dispatched. The number of departures and arrivals also decreased by nearly 10%. According to the airport’s business director, the downward trends have been particularly noticeable among the low-cost carriers and charter airlines, which have seen passenger reductions of 16 and 20%, respectively.
Czech detectives in South Africa to question fugitive businessman Radovan Krejčíř have found their hotel room ransacked. Czech Television reported that the burglary took place after the detectives were picked up by Mr Krejčíř’s driver to arrange an informal meeting with him. South African police are investigating the break-in. Radovan Krejčíř is expected to testify in the case of his father, who the police believe was kidnapped in 2002 on account of his son’s debts and murdered. Mr Krejčíř himself is under prosecution in the Czech Republic for extensive property fraud and conspiracy to murder. He escaped police detention in June of 2005 and has been living in South Africa since 2007
Slovak police have shot and killed a Czech man wanted for the 2002 robbery of a jewellery store. The spokesman for the Slovak Police Presidium, Martin Korch, said Thursday that officers had shot the man in the hand in self defence after six hours of negation when he drew a firearm on them. The shot however also struck him in the chest and attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. The man had previously been under arrest in the town of Havírov at the end of May when he disarmed the officers transferring him, handcuffed them to their car and escaped.
The automobile manufacturer Škoda Auto recorded a net profit drop of nearly 62% for the first half of 2009 compared with last year. 329,641 cars were sold, or 10.1% less than during the same period last year. The owner of Škoda, Volkswagen, reported even less positive results, with an 81% decline in profits in spite of a 6% rise in automobile sales.
The value of investments in the Czech Republic has taken a year-on-year
dive for the first half of 2009 to 10.5 billion crowns, the governmental
investment agency CzechInvest has announced. The decline comes amid a
growing number of investment projects, which increased for the same period
from 16 to 140. CzechInvest says that nearly half of the new investments
have been made in information technologies, and that investment in services
and research and development have for the first time exceeded investments
Meanwhile, higher unemployment levels in the country are increasing investor interest in Central and Western Bohemia, CzechInvest stated Thursday. Interest in business real estate has doubled in Plzeň for example, as companies find an advantageous pool of employees among growing numbers of unemployed but qualified workers.
Police have begun an investigation into the closure of the travel agency Tomi Tour, which declared bankruptcy in mid-July leaving some 3,400 clients temporarily stranded abroad. The Prague police department stated on Thursday that the investigation is responding to allegations that the company continued to take money from its clients and partners even after it was clear no more trips would be organised. Tomi Tour’s business director, former senator Václav Fischer, has said that no crime has been committed by anyone involved in the agency.
The International Criminal Police Association, Interpol, has been searching for a 34-year-old Czech man, Vítězslav Mráček, who they say escaped from a Belgian prison. It emerged Thursday however that the Mr Mráček in question is apparently at home in the Czech Republic and has never been charged with a crime. According to the daily Právo, police became aware of a case of mistaken identity on Wednesday after visiting the alleged fugitive’s residence. Belgian authorities have stated that the escapee was serving a six-year sentence for larceny.
The ministry of the interior is to introduce more police patrols in
“risk” areas following an increase in far-right extremism in the Czech
Republic. Interior Minister Martin Pecina made the announcement after talks
with President Václav Klaus on Wednesday. Over the last year far-right
groups have on a number of occasions marched on districts largely inhabited
by Roma, and the Czech government itself said a rise in extremism was
behind an increase in the number of Czech Roma applying for asylum in
Canada. That led Ottawa to introduce a visa requirement for Czech visitors
two weeks ago.
The interior ministry will also make a second attempt to have the far-right Workers’ Party banned; the last Czech government saw a similar bid rejected in March by the Supreme Administrative Court, which said it had put forward insufficient justification for the banning of the small group.
Over a month after his death at the age of 50, there are four LPs by the US pop star Michael Jackson in the Czech Republic’s top ten. Thriller tops the chart, Bad is at number three, Dangerous is at number 5 and The Essential is at number nine. Last week there were six albums by Michael Jackson in the upper echelon of the album chart.
Some Romanian Roma remain at a makeshift campsite by a lake on the
outskirts of Prague, despite an agreement reached with local officials on
Tuesday night for them to vacate the site. However, most of the 150 or so
who were camped out there have moved on. The group began gathering in the
Czech capital last Friday when a Roma teenager regarded as a “prince”
was admitted to hospital after nearly drowning while swimming in a Czech
lake. Officials at Vinohradská hospital said he remained in a serious
Sociologists told the Czech News Agency that the Czech Republic did not offer suitable conditions for the nomadic lifestyle. Roma in this country have been settled since 1958, when the Communists barred them from travelling about.
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Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary